observers havel criticized the referendum because it does not give crimea residents a true choice. the ballot offers two join russia -- to directly or restore one of crimea's previous constitutions, a rule which could give the crimean parliament the power to join the russian federation regardless of the referendum's outcome.
>> alexander is standing by for us in the crimean capital. what has the mood and like today? >> i would describe it as a mixture of anxiety and uncertainty. no one has any doubts about the outcome of the referendum, and many people i talk to told me that they are happy to join russia, but no one knows what is going to happen in the next day, what about the tartar minority to -- in the area? what about the ukrainian troops still locked by russian forces .nd how they are going to react the atmosphere over the situation is very tense. >> you say most people are happy to join russia, but are they ready to do so? what kind of changes would be involved in joining russia? >> i don't think that they are really prepared. many people told me that they hope they are going to get
higher salaries, higher pensions, that they hope that the kremlin is going to invest a lot of money in crimea, but the problem is that there are a lot of problems crimea would face. crimea's electricity, freshwater flows in from the ukrainian mainland. it could be that the authorities in kiev could decide to shut everything off. it might be very difficult for the region. >> what about the actual vote? do you think we can expect to see any irregularities? >> many people told me that they expect the results to be manipulated so that the pro-russian government here would have results the kremlin would be satisfied with, and of although many people here are very pro-russian, you have to take into account how overwhelming russia's military presence here is, how strong the
pro-russian propaganda here is. you can see it on the street, on local tv, and how the pro-russian forces tried to intimidate all people who are against them, so it's hard to say that it will be a fair vote. thanks for joining us. to some other news now, a four million flow backward to the poll today to elect a new president. in the first round of voting, they choose between 14 candidates. the current front runner is facing stiff competition from millionaire philanthropist andre kiska. first results will not be until sunday, but the expectation is neither candidate will reach an absolute majority. a potential runoff has already been scheduled for march 29. the search for the missing malaysian airliner has taken a new turn -- malaysia's prime minister said today that authorities are now confident the plane's transponder was switched off deliberately and that the jet continued to fly
for hours after that point. police are searching the home of the pilot for clues. there is still no sign of the plane or the 239 people on board. >> it now appears that flight mh 370's disappearance may have been deliberate. malaysia's prime minister said investigators believe the communications systems were manually disabled by someone on the flight, but he would not confirm growing suspicions that it was hijacked. after its transponder was shut off, the airplane apparently left its planned flight path. two possible flight corridors were suggested, but they are enormous. >> the northern corridor stretching approximately along khstan and of kaza turkmenistan through northern thailand, or the southern corridor stretching from southern indian
ocean. >> since the hijacking is now seen as a real possibility, the passengers and crew have come under renewed scrutiny. on saturday, police searched the homes of the pilot and copilot lumpur where they reportedly spent several hours. when the families of the 239 people on board the missing aircraft, it is a new turn of events. getting moree are concrete information, i feel there is brighter hope in finding the plane as well as the passengers of the plane. continues.ch for now, it is focusing on the indian ocean. >> dw's aviation analyst joins us now in studio. authorities now believe this could have been a hijacking, but there has been so much speculation. what more can you tell us? >> more and more indicators pointing toward the interpretation of this being a
hijacking. for example, the transponder apparently switched off exactly in the moment when the plane crossed over from the malaysian to the vietnamese airspace, hence using that moment of switch off authorities to .isappear also, apparently, the plane changed its route and altitude that they, indicating helm, which again leads experts to believe that at least one crew member possibly or most likely one of the two pilots may be involved in this incident is under duress or by their own will that we don't know. >> what does that mean for finding this plane. will it make it easier? >> maybe a little less difficult but only a little.
one would assume that on some radar screen, the plane would have popped up, which it did not. officials now are focusing on the southern corridor that is thely stretching into indian ocean, and searching there remains a challenge because we are talking about a big large hour, an ocean of to 12,000 feet deep. , it even ife pilots you are looking for something as large as an airplane, the only big thing in an ocean is the ocean itself, so looking there definitely remains a large challenge. >> a lot of questions remain on that. thanks for joining us in studio. >> tensions are running high on the gaza strip after a heavy barrage of air raids this week. israeli fighter jets hit a number of targets in gaza on thursday after palestinian militants fired rockets at southern israel.
that wave of attacks has led to an energy crisis in gaza with fuel running out fast. here's more. only power station in gaza has been out of service since saturday noon. operators had to shut it off because there is no more fuel, and rush supplies are not coming for now. it's the situation residents are learning to live with. have electricity for six hours a day. there's almost no fuel for generators. what fuel there is is very expensive. >> taza's energy agency blames israel for the lack of fuel. after rockets were fired at israel from gaza on wednesday, israel shut down the only commercial border crossing, and the effects go far beyond electricity. the isolation was imposed to cut off arms votes, but it has brought the economy to a virtual standstill. >> this is the worst time for
gaza for hamas in 20 years. growingrs which add to discontent in the gaza strip. >> which endures to sports now. the formula one season starts on sunday. 2014 brings some big changes, and the new racing regulations seem to have shifted the balance of power. >> lewis hamilton is looking good for the new season. he'll start on pole position at the australian grand prix. it was a near perfect qualifying session for his team, mercedes. there are other driver came in third. the team has coped well with major changes to the rules, which particularly affect engine capacity and aerodynamics.
>> these new cars are a lot harder to drive in the wet, and this is the first time for me driving in the wet. i'm sure it was for a lot of people. it was a tough challenge today. >> the new red bull driver put in an impressive performance. he clocked the second fastest time and will start on the front row with hamilton. the conditions made it difficult both for rookies and more experienced drivers. was one of several cars to slide off the track. struggled toion keep up with the pacesetters. he will start the race and 12th place, his worst qualifying performance for well over a year. >> to bundesliga soccer now. dortmund missed out on some crucial points in the fight to stay eligible for the champions league. the second place team lost at home. the visitors were put ahead in the first half.
after the break, the midfielder was sent off but still, dortmund could only manage one goal. let's take a closer look at the weekend's results so far. you have the victory. raymond rue one all with stuttgart. hertha berlin took a disappointing 3-0 loss against hannover. on friday, ellsberg -- out berg -- augsburg fell short against shell cup -- schalke. just a few minutes after halftime, he knocked back his ninth goal of the season for a 2-1 victory. and the top match of the weekend is coming to a close right now. bayern munich is leading 2-0.
frankfurt takes on bribery. that's all for now for the "journal." thanks for joining us. we will see you soon. >> it's 5:00 a.m., and we are on our way to a suburb of the cuban capital, havana. herrera and his wife are rebuilding their home. that's not the only big change here. six months ago, joel started his own one-man taxi business.
now 6:00. what is joel doing up so early, you ask. he is up to a late start. he has broken a headlight. normally he would be on the road by 4:00 a.m. while he is waiting for the sun she makes him some more strong coffee. "of course, i would rather he stay home," she says, "but he needs to work. i'm pregnant and i cannot work, so he has to work for us all." joel needs a good. it's time for work. his taxi, a 1955 chevrolet classic. the cap costing the equivalent of 11,000 euros. he borrowed the money from his father-in-law. he tells us there are not that many taxis out yet. "it's going to be a good day."
soon enough, he has already picked up his first passengers headed toward town. his new enterprise is only possible because of economic reforms in cuba that have made it possible for small private business is to sprout up. what will cuba be like in five years, we asked. "no idea," he says. "and in a decade?" idea," he says. joel tells us the world is changing, not just in cuba. across the world, things are developing, and there are also some things that are getting worse. says in our country, things are no different. there's a lot of uncertainty. could happenwhat tomorrow. hopefully, he says, exchange rates will improve.
joel explains that cuba has two currencies. the cuban peso used every day by the vast majority of cubans, and the convertible peso used often by foreign tourists to buy luxury goods. he says on a good day, he can make 1100 regular pesos but figuring fuel costs and the exchange rate, he is down to 10 paces and convertible profits. that's about 10 u.s. dollars, which means to make a living, joel drives about 14 hours a day, six days a week. still, he is proud of his work and his car. >> it's a rolling museum. in other countries, these cars are seen as hobby, as classics people keep for their own pleasure. here, it's our means of transport, our work, and our income. thanks to these old american cars, we have work. the cars are sturdy. they are the only ones that would last as long.
>> we leave joel in havana for now and head to hundred kilometers to the west to the world's most famous tobacco region. we are here to visit francisco josé prieto and his father poncho. they are members of a farmer's collective. their land has been in the family for generations. josé shows us where the leaves are hung to dry. he says the system makes more space for the women to do their work. women who cure the tobacco leaves. most of them have been at it for many years. their work is especially needed during high season from january to march. once the leaves are cured, the cuban state will buy up the entire harvest, and recently, the state has started paying
more than it used to. for workers like this 72-year-old, it means higher wages. good news for her and her sizable family. she says she always hoped her children would go to university and all three managed to do it. now all her grandchildren are at university. of course, she is very happy about that. now everything here is better, she says. be you would work and work and all you would get was a few cents. now you really see the results of your labor." she says she gets paid twice a month. the last time she got 600 65 cuban pesos even though work had to be canceled a few times because of rain. you could not make that much before. cigars are next to sugar,
the island's most important export good. employees say they like working .or francisco josé prieto many have come back again and again for decades to help out at harvest time. the oldest of them is in his mid-70's. prieto says his workers are happy. the happy man is the one who gets up in the morning and wants to go to work and when his work is over wants to go home. else depends on personal happiness and a stable .amily life "what about your life?" "i'm a happy man," he says.
some of the visitors have been to cuba before. here every two years because it's beautiful here. people are nice. there's good music and good company." tobacco," wehe asked. "cuban tobacco is the best out there. 99.9% of the time we only smoke cuban cigars." still bunch all the tobacco together with a kind of needle. people have honest work. i hope that they are well paid and that there's a minimum wage.
we ask another worker what she has to say about that. says,till young," she "but i did get to know capitalism before things changed . when i retired, i came back here and i retired." "francisco josé pays as well. we get to take meal breaks. they bring us coffee and cold water to drink. it's really good. francisco josé tells us cuba is moving along very well, even if the changes have been slow in coming, he says they are very much for the better. he says you just have to go out
into the streets to see the differences. everything that's cropping up, all the new private businesses everyeople are building, day there is something new. that has changed our lives. it really has changed -- it's gotten much better. the one change that would be hard for me, though, is if my son does not take over the farm. this is our life's work. lunch time. it's a break best enjoyed in the shade. the workers wait for the sun to go down a bit more before they get back to their post. the highway back to havana is nearly empty. in town, at a dance show, we taxi ownerin with joel, his wife, and a couple of friends of the couple. joel has even taken the afternoon off.
popularde, havana's coastal route. "we come here to drink a beer, sit in the sun, and enjoy the cool breeze," he says. "to chat a little and forget about our work for a while." "what kind of troubles," we asked. he says he worries about getting their home rebuilt before the baby comes. then there's the car. if anything breaks, it's a tough situation. there are no replacement parts available. his wife is thinking even further ahead. in three or four years
when we are better off, we can she says.er kid," "but maybe not. our living space is already cramped." joel tells us before buying a taxi, he was an economist for the cuban state for years. at the end, he says, "what could ? do now i am self-employed so i could support myself and my ."mily the four go for a stroll through havana's old town, popular among tourists. "for us, it's super expensive, he says, "if you take our national peso exchange it for the convertible peso, it's clear we cannot afford it here.